Microsoft is giving its MSN.com internet portal a fresh coat of paint and giving the brand a bit of a push as well. Soon the company will update its Android, iOS and Windows Phone apps and the new versions will use the MSN name instead of Bing.
For now, you can check out a preview of the new MSN portal at preview.msn.com.
Don’t ask me why it’s taken this long for Microsoft to decide that it makes more sense from a branding perspective to stand behind the MSN name, which originally stood for The Microsoft Network, than the Bing name… although I’m pretty sure the Bing search engine isn’t going anywhere.
Anyway, the new MSN portal has a tiled user interface that’s not unlike what you see on the start screen of a computer running Windows 8 or later. And just like the start screen, the MSN home page can be customized.
Users who are signed in can choose which sections to include. Don’t care about sports, entertainment, or business news? Just uncheck those options. Want to world news, tech and science news, and music news? Check, check, and check. You can also rearrange sections on the page.
Most of the new will now come from partners including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, AOL, and Conde Nast as well as international news sources including The Guardian, Hindustan Times, and Le Monde.
While the new web portal is now ready to preview, Microsoft says the new mobile apps will be available “in the coming months.”
If you are fully bought into the Microsoft eco-system, the My MSN may still be the right homepage for you. Otherwise https://www.start.me is a great alternative home page.
MS really needs to hire a marketing guru to rebrand and rename stuff.
MS has the most boring and generic names for products aside from maybe xbox and outlook.
Bing – wtf.
Windows Phone as a name for something that uses no windows and has tiles instead of, maybe, window panes. I remember when Windows Phone was going to be called “Windows Phone series 7” – lame.
I’m glad the “charms” are going away. WTF is a charm anyway?
Even the name “Windows” is so generic and boring.
The MSN name was so forgotten by now, they really could have uniquely re-branded it with the unveiling of their new look. I like the new look and like all their services easily accessible at the top, but more innovative re-branding could have gone a long way, like the re-branding of hotmail and live mail to outlook.com.
The re-branding of Hotmail to merge it with the Outlook brand was a stroke of genius. Bing was a bad name to begin with. I think that a bunch of marketing executives were sitting around a table in Redmond trying to come up with a name for a search engine that was short, memorable, and sort of worked as a verb (i.e. “Bing it”) but they forgot to make it sound good. “Google” sounds weird but they have a good reason for it (googol, the number) as well as years of history of having an exemplary product. “Bing” sounds like the notification sound that an early 2000s IM client would make, not something that you want to associate your new web brand with. That said, when I think “MSN” I think of the full-scale assault on my retinas that MS calls the default IE homepage with obtrusive ads and click-bait articles. If MSN is a better brand than Bing they had better take Bing out back behind the shed and shoot it right now, stop exhuming MSN’s rotting corpse, and start from scratch. How about the “Windows Network”?
I have grown to like the Bing apps on my Windows Phone. That being said, this is a terrible idea. MSN?!!! Wtf?
MSN -Microsoft Network
Seen as legitimate extension of Microsoft services.
Bing -Microsoft’s too weak too late answer to Google Search
Seen as lame, tame and not really in the game.
So yes, run, do not walk away from Bing anything.
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